I always wanted to be a mom and I knew that I wanted a big family. It’s why I worked in day cares and summer camps and then became a teacher. To practice what I knew my lifes work was supposed to be.. I was always confident in my ability to juggle and thrive as a mom to bigger sized clan

Then came infertility.. and miscarriage after miscarriage.. and then all I wanted to be was a mom. Just a chance to grab that golden ring ..

Jennifer gave me that. If you ever asked her she would say Oct 28th 2007 we went from Tony and Libby to Mommy and Daddy. She gave us that. And it can never ever be taken away. I am so grateful she got to give us those titles.


And I truly believe God knew I needed her first before he gave me the rest of my babies. Losing her I look at them with a different level of gratitude. Its always hard for me to be apart from them. School starts up again and it feels like I am preparing for such a difficult goodbye. .. Jonathan in first grade. A grade she never saw.. and Nicholas in preschool 3 days a week. I feel like so much is changing..

They are growing.. and moving further from my grasp and it makes me swallow and choke down my own breath..

I’ve never liked change.. When Tony moves the furniture he never asks if I like it for the first week.. because I never do. But eventually I settle in to it. I adjust to it.

These changes coming have some of that.. the juggling of schedules is just beginning. That’s a challenge I know I will face and deal with well. . I will adjust.

But there is something different. Deeper. Fear. I can’t even pinpoint what it is that I am scared of. .. its so much nonsensical emotion balled up into one. I am scared.. like a palpable fear level, not of anything in particular but just rather the change. Something changing with my kids, with our routine.. it nearly paralyzes me.

I think its why I do most things with just my kids now. I used to go to the beach or amusement parks with friends never alone. But now I dread doing those things with other people..

she loved Gilroy gardens..
she loved Gilroy gardens..

Maybe its not change.. maybe its the control? Maybe I need to feel some (although I know its a mirage), semblance of control over their little lives. The small things .. like what ride to go on next.. I feel in control. I feel in power.

Sending them off to school I am stripped of all that.

I am a mom of 5. I should be able to roll with the punches and the changes easily. I was built for this…

..wasn’t I?

but you were built to be a mom and that was stolen from you

i don’t know what to trust anymoreCSC_0433

It makes me question so much. I just want to do right by them.. Be the mom they need and deserve. So I stuff it down. .. until I can give it a voice and minimize its hold on me here in black and white. .. and learn from it too.

But where I get stuck as a mom to these towheaded 4 living children is how to juggle their differing emotional needs in regards to their sister.

why am i so much more sensitive to it when it comes to you?

They are all so different. They always have been. It’s actually one of my parenting strong suits. Knowing that. Having different answers or consequences for each one of them. .. Jennifer and Jonathan were so different, even as babies and I was good at that. I still am.. except when it comes to their big sister now.

you are too important. i can’t be wrong. and I am so lost.

Their reactions are so vastly different and I am not sure how to juggle them all. I’m a mom of 5 though.. I know.. I mean I really know I will drop balls all the time. I’ve always been ok with that..

but not anymore when it comes to you.. .

We were driving. And a “sissy” song came on. Jonathan immediately started singing and asked me to turn it up.. and Nicholas at the same time asked me to please change the station. My mouth went dry and I stumbled .. hand back and forth between the dial not sure what to do.

please mom?

please mom?

Neither fighting. Both just asking. I looked in my rearview mirror. Both boys shiny and pleading eyes.

Nicholas wants to miss her and honor her in his own way.. in his own time. He asked me to take this picture of him with sissy so many times.. . make it look like she is with me he said.
Nicholas wants to miss her and honor her in his own way.. in his own time. He asked me to take this picture of him with sissy so many times.. . make it look like she is with me he said.

I was lucky in that moment. I was able to find a solution to pull into a parking lot and let Nicholas out and Jonathan listen. .. But thats rare. That I am able to successfully balance both their hearts. ..I told them both I was proud of them for voicing their needs but that I might not always be able to accommodate them. And I have 2 more little hearts that will be voicing their own needs soon enough.

Writing it now though I wonder if that was right for my Nicholas? Did he feel put out and alone?  Did I handle it right? In any other situation I wouldn’t give that a second thought.. but when it comes to Jennifer the stakes seem impossibly high. .

i want them to know you

to love you.

that means they will miss you.


how do i help them navigate

the waters that nearly drown me?


…until there is a cure..

6 Responses to “juggling”

  1. I think you handled things very well, but if you’re still questioning this specific situation, perhaps if it happens again, you could be outside with Nicholas so he’s not alone or offer to play the song for Jonathan later, just for him. Just spit balling here. Hopes it helps. You’re an amazing mom and your kids will really appreciate it more than ever when they’re grown.

  2. Over and over you make me see what an amazing mama you are. I think it’s hard to really just want to jump in and share life with people once you go through anything that isn’t supposed to happen that way…I have not lost a child but I did lose my innocent view that everyone gets to grow old and it changed me…made it hard for me to be around people who don’t get it. I really do believe many of us are just doing the best we can do…and that really is good enough.

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